Although the XP GUI allows you to change attributes from the properties of a file or folder, the command line ATTRIB tool is a much faster and more flexible alternative. One benefit of this tool is that it allows you to configure the System attributes for a file, which isn’t possible via the graphical interface. This is useful because when a file or folder has both its Hidden and System attributes set, the file is completely hidden in the Windows Explorer interface by default.
To view the attributes associated with a file or folder from the command line, type ATTRIB followed by the file name. To add attributes to a file, use the ATTRIB command followed by +R +H +A or +S (and then the path/filename) to add the Read-only, Hidden, Archive, and System attributes to the file respectively. The –R –H –A and –S switches remove these attributes from the file.